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Balanchine Birthday events Jan. 22


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#16 Eileen

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:48 PM

"I meant another pizza place with full seating and a full menu. Darn, I know Traviata and this is another place, west side of Broadway between 67th and 68th. "


I am pretty sure that you are thinking of Francesco's. Place is long and narrow, but many tables, and really good pizzas and other take-out food.


Yes, that's it! Thank you.

#17 vipa

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:55 PM

My husband and I are going to the film at 10:30, the matinee & the class taught by Peter Martins. Should be fun. All the talk about restaurants had made me realize that we have to come up with a food plan! Hopefully all restaurants in the Lincoln Center area will benefit.

#18 Eileen

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:50 PM

I just got back from an entire day of ballet joy, specifically Balanchine joy, at City Ballet - film, studio talk, onstage class, performance. It's late so I have to go and tomorrow out of town, but I hope to write my impressions later and to hear yours if you were there. Do write!

#19 vipa

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:57 PM

Synopsis of what I saw.

Film - Wonderful despite some brief technical difficulties - a very appreciative audience.

Lunch in the Atruim, across the street

2 PM Matinee - Walpurgisnacht - Loved Maria Kowroski. There is a wit and style to her performances that I love. I am starting to get Pereira. I thought she did her variations well and (importantly for me) when she did the attitude step that went bad the first time, worse the second time, she fixed and did best the third time. That ability to keep one's head, not panic and just fix during performance is something I admire (Cynthia Gregory was a great example of this). Pazcoguin and Dronovoa were very enjoyable (I particularly enjoy Pazcoguin)

Duo Concertant - Thought Hyltin & Fairchild superb. As an aside in the curtain speeches I was moved by Fairchild's statement that when he stands by the piano and listens, he thinks of all those who stood there before him.

4 T's - Have to admit that seeing Bart Cook in the film made it hard to buy Marcovici's performance. Overall the company looked good. I loved Theresa Reichlen in the Forth Variation - so strong and clean.

Cortege - Just fun. I think Mearns was not totally comfortable with the replacement of Stafford by Askegard, she fudged a little in the partnering. Never the less she is always fun to watch, and gave a fine performance. Ana Sophia Scheller was delightful in her variation. Krohn looked great, Suozzi seemed to be trying so hard to cover space that he got unmusical.

Corps member Lauren King continues to look great in everything, I hope a promotion is in the works.

Didn't attend the panel discussion (hope to hear a report from someone else). We just had to take a walk and get some air.

On stage class - totally enjoyable. A few dancers stood out. I wish I know more of their names, so that I can follow them.

One more thing that I thought was lovely. At the first intermission of the matinee (and probably the evening) one could pick up a shot of vodka to toast George. What a great thing to be able to walk around seeing different groups and couples toasting to George. My husband & I also did so.

A great event - Congrats for NYCB and Peter Martins for doing it.

#20 Balanchinomane

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 08:31 PM

I just got home too. What a great day! The last time I spent 12 hours with Mr B was the Wall to Wall event
at Symphony Space --- 6 years ago.
Kowroski is dancing so much - she was wonderful tonight as the Siren and her Mozartiana Thursday was superb.
The icing on the birthday cake was Stars & Stripes. Ulbricht, Bouder & Veyette pulled out all the stops.
In the pre curtain speech, Bouder said it was a special night for her as it is her 6th anniversary as a principal, and
that she and Veyette had performed Liberty Bell at their final SAB workshop.

#21 Marga

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 11:06 PM

I just arrived back on LI with the evening's performance repeating in my head. As I exited the State Koch Theater, Stars and Stripes was running a loop through my mind. Entering the subway, I heard it being played, very skillfully, on the platform, this time emanating from the busker's flute. What a clever fellow!

Usually I'm snapped back to the real world as I descend to the trains, but today the illusion continued, thanks to a subway player who does his research and knows how to play Sousa. Of course, I slipped some money into his bag before I got on my train.

#22 Slant

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 05:47 AM

I really enjoyed the Studio Talk that NYC Ballet held on Saturday as part of the Balanchine birthday celebration. The panel wad moderated by Sean Lavery and featured Sterling Hyltin, Jennifer Ringer and Chase Finlay. Wonderful panel full of interesting insights.

It was so good to see Sean again and I loved his various anecdotes of working under Mr B during his career. I had the privilege to observe Sean's Advanced Men's Variation class at the School of American Ballet this past Thursday. He is a brilliant teacher who creates such a positive environment.

#23 canbelto

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 01:36 PM

I went to the night performance, and thought that Stars and Stripes was the most successful of the three ballets. Ashley Bouder, James Veyette, and Daniel Ulbricht tore up the stage.

I however felt something really wrong during Prodigal Son. The audience chuckled nonstop during the performance. Was this ballet meant to be played for laughs, in such a broad manner? I don't think so, it seemed as if the dancers totally failed to convey the spiritual/mythical aspects of this ballet.

#24 Amy Reusch

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 04:56 PM

Marga, the two twelve year olds accompanying me enjoyed the subway concert too! Very charming.

From up in the top ring where we sat, Prodigal Son had everyone riveted, even though I do not think is one of those Balanchine choreographies that has particular charm seen from above... Looking down tends to deflate the leaps.

However, it seemed sometimes that there were some moments in the Siren's movement that seemed quirky when in the past they have read as seductive/femme fatale... could be something was lost by the transmission to the top ring.

I was looking forward to seeing Bouder, who is famous for playing to the seats we were in and for the most part she delivered. Sometimes the extra energy to the arms came across overworked rather than reaching out as it were, but what a treat that manege was! Both Bouder & Veyette made me feel like Stars & Stripes is an American answer to the famous Corsaire pas de deux.

Stars and Stripes... there are some ballets that just seem to have certain dancers' names written all over them, even decades after those dancers have retired. I felt watching ABT's mounting of Sylvia that Fonteyn's spirit hung all through the choreography. Perhaps Farrells dancing shadows everyone else in Mozartiana, (though I remember being enchanted by Ananiashvili in the same piece last year... I think that perhaps the ballerina's grace is too subtle for the top ring, though the young dancers and the structure sings through just fine.) But Stars and Stripes... I just see Jacques d'Amboise written all over this ballet. Anyone here remember seeing him in the role?

I was disappointed by the vodka toast... I had thought someone was gong to lead it. Did perhaps Peter Martins lead some such thing in a more private patron setting...

Also, some kind angel ought to underwrite a better sound system for the historical talks given in the forth ring... the little speaker was so bassy it was a drain on what was being said, taking some dedication on the part of the listeners.

Mozartiana... I must find some time to read the notes... it seemed like Balanchine commenting on ballet's Italian renaissance roots as Tchaikovsky was commenting on Mozart? Though a beautiful work, not something I would have brought my young guests to normally. They were fascinated by Peter Martin's class. Do we have a thread on Balanchine style here? (Apologies... short of time tonight... will return for a deeper look)

(By the way, should I delete my dining questions from this thread? Or are they helpful for other patrons?)

#25 Amy Reusch

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 05:06 PM

And regarding the onstage class... who was the beautiful african-american (? maybe african-asian-american?) dancer... hers was one name we missed.

Silas, the tall male dancer...beautiful partnering by Joe... the boys had so much personality... looking forward to their dancing as professionals. There was also a charming girl in the front (house right/stage left) during barre who held herself with such boyant energy... anyone catch the name? She volunteered to show the hands. How many times a year does Peter Martins typically teach these kids? He seemed to know many of their names. How does that work, does he teach often? Did Balanchine teach this level often in the 60s & 70s?

#26 vipa

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:21 PM

And regarding the onstage class... who was the beautiful african-american (? maybe african-asian-american?) dancer... hers was one name we missed.

Silas, the tall male dancer...beautiful partnering by Joe... the boys had so much personality... looking forward to their dancing as professionals. There was also a charming girl in the front (house right/stage left) during barre who held herself with such boyant energy... anyone catch the name? She volunteered to show the hands. How many times a year does Peter Martins typically teach these kids? He seemed to know many of their names. How does that work, does he teach often? Did Balanchine teach this level often in the 60s & 70s?


I too was curious. One of the girls was named Angelic (or something like that) but all 3 girls in front at the barre from stage left to right were definitely promising. I don't think the name of the far stage left girl was mentioned. Were they given assigned places at the barre before hand?

Aside from Silas and Joe there was another blond young man that I noticed for his nice jump.

It would be interesting to know how many from that class were NYCB bound, how many were other company bound, and how many were nice dancers who would do something else.

#27 Amy Reusch

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:53 PM

My daughter has an excellent memory (clearly not inherited from me... I had to ask her for the others' names), and Angelica was one of her favorites... wore a french twist & earrings... (doesn't exactly help me)... she was wearing sort of a halter top... Peter told her that she had to get used to being downstage because... (can't remember exact words, but implication she was going to in front of the audience a lot!)...

Both my daughter & I noticed how little Mr. Martins said as he gave the combination, indicating in a very few words and gestures what he wanted and how instantly all the students had the combination down perfectly. The combinations were short but not necessarily simple (the timing might make a non Balanchine student stumble)... and we wondered if the combinations were so typical that they might have encountered them before... in other words, were they favorite combinations to teach the Balanchine technique?

#28 Amy Reusch

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:54 PM

And who was the conductor who lead Stars and Stripes? Is that the one that has just been appointed to lead the Hartford Symphony? Carolyn Kuan?

#29 Amy Reusch

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 07:20 PM

OK.. just checked... if there is a thread on Balanchine style it doesn't come up in a quick search.

It was very interesting to see the students. The speed, musicality & frozen diamond aspects of Balanchine style were addressed. i hadn't noticed the difference in the curtsey and thought it was very interesting that they try to bow in a "humble" manner without pointing the foot. I'm not sure I buy that it is more humble, but it does seem very tossed off, very American...a quick "thank you" and now lets' go! I have been noticing lately how sometimes one sees the Russians bow (like perhaps Zakharova, though now I can't locate an image of her doing it) that the back foot seems almost self consciously pointed to the point where the toes lift off the floor... seeming a little overdone, a little like seeing the supposedly unconscious Juliet in the crypt with feet fully extended in point... perhaps Balanchine wanted his dancers to avoid going Pavlova's route who some people have said n her later years bowed spectacularly, often better and longer than her dancing had been.

I was surprised at how broad the glissades where... I had remembered a narrower 2nd position frozen in the air...

Also interesting to hear Peter Martins requesting heels on the ground when so many of the girls were releasing their heels in demi plié... but perhaps he was addressing the boys... I wasn't surprised at the release but rather at the admonition not to...

I wish Peter Martins had made more comments. Balanchine technique fondus seem very different from what non-Balanchine teachers were teaching... very clearly one leg straightening before the other.

At times Mr. Martins would point out that the kids had done something wrong, but often I was as baffled as they seemed to be about the difference in technique he was asking for... It's understandable, they're likely not asked to practice being able to demonstrate "incorrect", but it was still confusing at times. It seemed he wanted moments to be even more frozen than they were. It does make the Balanchine dancers sparkle in their allegro work.

I thought I would see more highly pointed feet in the girls' tendus... even with the speed. I remember seeing Balanchine dancers demonstrate tendus that almost lifted fully pointed from 5th position to be placed in tendu rather than brushed along the floor through the foot & up... these had all that speed, but they didn't seem to get to that high in-step almost over arch that I was expecting to see... not sure whether it was a misunderstanding on my part or something that has changed over the years.

I felt the girls most showed their SAB pedigree was in their extensions and in the partnering section. Just stunningly beautiful.

#30 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 08:01 PM

And who was the conductor who lead Stars and Stripes? Is that the one that has just been appointed to lead the Hartford Symphony? Carolyn Kuan?


She is teeny tiny Clotilde Otranto and has been with the company for several years. She is an incredible dynamo.


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